2013-09-27 / Community

Church Volunteers Remove Sandy Debris From The Bay


More than 200 Church of God volunteers join Don Riepe, Cathy Sohn and other American Littoral Society members for a day long cleanup of the Jamaica Bay shoreline. Photo by Dan Guarino More than 200 Church of God volunteers join Don Riepe, Cathy Sohn and other American Littoral Society members for a day long cleanup of the Jamaica Bay shoreline. Photo by Dan Guarino More than two hundred volunteers from the World Mission Society Church of God in New York joined the American Littoral Society on Sunday, September 22nd, to remove roughly ten tons of debris left on the coastline since Hurricane Sandy’s damage to Broad Channel and the Rockaways last October.

Director of the Northeast Chapter of Littoral Society Don Riepe was on hand to shoulder part of the work and direct activities for the day long project.

Volunteers formed an assembly line of about a quarter-mile in Broad Channel to efficiently pick up and pass along planks, trash, boat wreckage, bottles, decks and other sometimes huge pieces of debris, among other environmental hazards.

This human chain, passing items from gloved hand to gloved hand, stretched from the Jamaica Bay shoreline to the American Legion parking lot off Cross Bay Boulevard.

“The area was completely flooded by Sandy. [It was] really destroyed,” said Cathy Sohn of the American Littoral Society. "It's great that these guys were able to help us in this area because a lot of the debris tossed up was from Sandy. And here we are, almost a year later and it was still sitting there."

“Because we believe in God the Father and God the Mother,” one of the Church of God volunteers said, “we put their teachings into practice by volunteering in our community through service activities like today.

That's why we want to help out in any way we can to make the world a better place."

The Church has been working with the American Littoral Society over the past five years to help restore Jamaica Bay.

This past spring, the volunteers helped plant salt marshes to prevent future floods like those caused by Superstorm Sandy.

The Church of God has especially been helping Broad Channel and the Rockaways rebuild after the storm. Fifteen days immediately after Sandy, hundreds of volunteers cleaned out flooded homes for families and, also helped restore their peace of mind and give them hope for the future.

As the rebuilding continues, the Church looks forward to being an on-call service body to provide help where it is needed.

The World Mission Society Church of God is a faith-based, international nonprofit organization. Within four decades, it has established approximately 2,200 churches, or regions, in more than 150 different countries.

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